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OSI complains to German watchdog

About the Novell patents deal
Thu Dec 30 2010, 11:58

THE GERMAN Federal Cartel Office is investigating claims by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) that Novell selling most of its patents to a cartel of IT firms is a bad idea.

According to the OSI, Novell has been a key player in the fast-growing market of commercial open source software.

However when Novell announced that it will be acquired by Attachmate in a transaction valued at $2.2 billion, there were fears that Novell's sizeable patent portfolio could be used attack the entire community of open source developers and companies.

This is a major concern, as a group of IT companies led by Microsoft has offered over $400 million to strip almost all of Novell's patent assets from the Attachmate transaction and place them into a new entity called CPTN. The Vole has roped in its proprietary software mates Oracle, Apple and EMC to be co-owners of the patents.

In a statement, the OSI said that it was compelled to request that competition authorities take a closer look at the proposed transaction. It dashed off a complaint to the German Federal Cartel Office requesting that they investigate this transaction thoroughly.

"We have received an acknowledgement of receipt by the department in charge, and we stand ready to offer any additional assistance that may be required by investigators should they ask for such help," the OSI said. µ


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